By Emmanuel Legrand
The European Council has published the negotiating mandate authorising the opening of negotiations with the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland for a new partnership agreement.
The IP section of the road-map includes several benchmarks as a preamble to the discussions:
1 - Provide for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights to stimulate innovation, creativity and economic activity, going beyond the standards of the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) conventions where relevant.
2- Preserve the Parties’ current high levels of protection of intellectual property, such as copyright and related rights, trademarks, unregistered and registered design rights, geographical indications, patents, undisclosed information or plant variety rights.
3 - Ensure the effectiveness of enforcement of intellectual property rights, including in the digital environment and at the border.
4 - Establish an appropriate mechanism for cooperation and exchange of information between the Parties on intellectual property issues of mutual interest, such as respective approaches and processes regarding trademarks, designs and patents.
Tom Kiehl, interim chief executive of British organisation UK Music, commented on Twitter: "Music creators and those that invest in them require a high level of protection for copyright and an ability to effectively enforce their rights. It’s welcome that this is a stated goal of the EU."
Kiehl added: "UK Music looks to the UK Government for its support. The EU is also clear that movement across the EU should be based on full reciprocity with the UK. We urgently need more details as to whether this means new barriers for touring artists and ask the UK Government for its help in eliminating any obstacles that would intrude on our ability to promote music internationally when securing a new agreement with the EU."